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Marketing Achievement Awards names South Africa’s top marketers for 2024

The winners in the 2024 Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA), endorsed by the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), were announced at a gala event at The Forum in Sandton. The awards ceremony was attended by the MAA qualifiers, the MAA Council and judges, as well as invited guests from the marketing industry.

The winners across 14 award categories were named, including the most anticipated announcements of the evening – the winners of the three MAA leadership awards. These winners were Doug Place, CMO for Nando’s Africa, Middle East and South Asia, who won the Marketer of the Year Award; Nastasje Cerbone, Marketing Activations Manager at Pernod Ricard, who won the Rising Star of the Year Award; and for the second consecutive year, Discovery, which won the Marketing Organisation of the Year Award.

Ivan Moroke, CEO of Kantar South Africa and Chairperson of the Marketing Achievement Awards, says all this year’s winners and finalists lived up to the challenge of solving what he calls “challenging opportunities”.

‘These marketers illustrate what effective marketing is all about: solving challenges and unlocking opportunities that drive business results as well as the growth that our economy needs in order to flourish,’ he explains. ‘During the judging of this year’s MAAs I was struck yet again by what brilliant marketers we have in this country. As part of a global organisation, I am exposed to marketing best practice from all around the world. In my opinion, all of the 2024 winners and finalists can stand tall on a global stage. There is no question that marketing as a discipline punches way above its weight in South Africa.’

Themba Nobanda, CEO of Brand Spear and Chairperson of Marketer of the Year selection committee, reflected these sentiments, saying that Doug Place, deservedly took this title, as an individual who exemplifies the art and science of marketing. ‘Doug proved that he is one of the standout marketing leaders of our society today, demonstrating authenticity and professionalism whilst having an in-depth knowledge of business dynamics,’ says Nobanda.

The Marketer of the Year Award recognises an outstanding South African marketer who has delivered innovative marketing, impacted business results and used their influence to drive the industry forward. 

This year’s selection committee were particularly impressed with Place’s understanding and achievement of balance in marketing initiatives, taking into consideration socio-economic factors and competitor activity. ‘Doug has transformed thinking throughout the organisation to use marketing to lead the entire growth agenda of the business,’ continues Nobanda.

Stalwart marketers, like Place, serve as inspiration for up-and-coming marketers, the likes of which are celebrated through the MAA’s Rising Star of the Year Award, which honours young marketers who have demonstrated the potential to become outstanding industry leaders through impactful, analytical and creative marketing efforts.

This year, Immaculata Segooa, Head of Integrated Marketing Communication at Discovery Limited, chaired the Rising Star judging panel. She says that the judges were very impressed with the 2024 winner, Nastasje Cerbone, who showcased the skills of a balanced marketer by using both analytical and creative marketing elements to win over consumers and achieve business results. ‘Her broad experience, strategic acumen and leadership skills shone through in both the nominations by her colleagues, as well as in the Inverroche Amber Gin case study that she presented to the judging committee,’ says Segooa.

The judges were impressed by her collaborative approach and ability to galvanise internal and external support to drive results, and how she adeptly balances long-term vision with short-term challenges, demonstrating proficiency in strategic planning, communication, budget management, problem-solving and innovative execution. ‘This and her commitment to empowerment and self-development, distinguishes her as a Next Gen marketer, highly deserving of this year’s Rising Star of the Year Award,’ says Segooa.

This year, the adjudication panel for the Marketing Organisation of the Year Award was chaired by Enzo Scarcella, Chief Consumer Officer at the MTN Group. Judges on the panel declared Discovery Limited as the clear winner of the award, which celebrates organisations that have harnessed strategic marketing to deliver sustained business growth.

‘What differentiates Discovery and sets them apart from many other organisations is the concept of living Shared Value, which shines through in their work.  They consistently demonstrate that when a disciplined marketing approach is applied to a robust business strategy, with an array of excellently executed marketing activities, this translates to solid business results,’ says Scarcella.

This year’s MAA entries in 14 different award categories were judged by more than 50 industry experts against strict criteria, including the impact of the marketing initiative on business objectives and bottom line.

Each written submission was evaluated against specified criteria; the merits of each top-scoring entry were assessed in peer quorums; and in the case of the three leadership categories, online interviews were conducted with the nominees and their colleagues in order to understand the finalists and their work.  

While other awards celebrate various elements of marketing, typically communication, the MAAs are the only awards programme that recognise and celebrate the entire marketing value chain. It’s for this reason that they are rated as the, “Ultimate recognition for South African marketing”.

The Marketing Achievement Awards wish to thank all of its partners and patrons who made this year’s awards possible.

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